When shopping for a travel rewards credit card, a lot of people see an annual fee of $99 or even $149 and think: “Totally worth it. Sign me up.” But the most frugal among us take a different view: “That’s an awful lot of money to pay in the hopes of earning so-called ‘free’ travel.”
If that sounds like the voice in your head, Chase has a card for you: the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card — a well-rounded, no frills card that’s good for frugal, not-too-frequent travelers who want to go where Southwest flies.
At $69, the annual fee is solidly on the low end, and the card’s perks are good enough to make that fee worthwhile for a cost-conscious occasional Southwest flyer.
Below is an overview of who can benefit from the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Those looking for a generous welcome bonus
The welcome bonus makes for an easy cost-benefit analysis: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
With a flexible schedule and a little luck, that’s enough for a round-trip Wanna Get Away Fare from Chicago to Honolulu. The spending requirement is an alluringly low threshold. Plus, for every Southwest Airlines purchase you charge, you’ll earn 2 points per $1. All other qualifying purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
People who want recurring benefits
Every year on your card anniversary, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card gives you 3,000 anniversary points just for sticking around, making it a little easier to get to your next redemption.
People who want the Southwest Companion Pass
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card might even help you get closer to a coveted Southwest Companion Pass — a benefit that lets you choose one person to travel with you for one year, for only the cost of taxes and fees.
To earn the Companion Pass, you have to fly 100 qualifying one-way segments or earn 110,000 Rapid Rewards points (125,000 starting in 2020). That second goal is a lot easier to attain with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, because both the welcome bonus and points earned through the card count toward the 110,000 threshold.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Visa® credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best airline credit card for you
Southwest Rapid Rewards program: The complete guide
Benefits of Southwest Airlines credit cards